The Caine Mutiny

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Year Released: 1954
Rating: 2.0

The sailors on-board the USS Caine revolt against battle-damaged Captain Queeg (a feeble Humphrey Bogart), who is paranoid and cruel to his men - Fred MacMurray's fast talking novelist conjures the plan, but it takes the Van Johnson character to actually go through with it. The Queeg character has become the stuff of screen (and literary) legend, with his obsession with missing strawberries and his nervous habit of rolling steel bearings around in his hands to relax (he needs artificial ones to make up for the real ones he's apparently missing), but the rest of the movie, in the hands of Dmytryk, is choppy and unsatisfying. The romantic sub-plot - between Robert Francis and lounge singer girlfriend May Wynn - is wooden, the mixture of real footage and set footage is ugly and the discussion about paranoia smacks of Psych 101. When legal maverick Jose Ferrar criticizes the men for mutinying (after winning the case), you can feel the U.S. Navy's hands all over the place. Three cheers for Fred MacMurray's scoundrel, however - he didn't play the bad guy often, but when he did it was certainly memorable.